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Outfitters on the Miramichi River have been critical of the DFO's policy on closing salmon pools.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is revising its protocols on closing salmon pools after complaints from fishing organizations.

Salmon in the parts of the Miramichi River have been struggling in the warm waters this summer and the Miramichi Salmon Association has estimated that hundreds of fish have died because of the stress caused by the warmer waters.

The federal fisheries department closed 11 salmon pools along the Miramichi River over the past month.

Outfitters that run fishing camps on the river and the Miramichi Salmon Association have argued the closures were poorly timed.

Gayden Curtis, the camp manager of the Black Brook Salmon Club on the Miramichi River, said one of the recent closures on the river affects his main fishing area.

He said conditions on the river changed before the closures went into effect.

"It was affecting the salmon two weeks ago, and there was fish dying because of the low, warm water," Curtis said.

"At that time, closing these brooks makes perfectly good sense. But right now it's September weather."

Changing procedures

Ernest Ferguson, a spokesman with the Department of Fisheries and Ocean, said the department is reviewing its procedures for closing and reopening pools to see if the process can be sped up.

"We are working now on the process, on the protocol, that if this happens in the future, how this will be done, how fast we can trigger a closure," Ferguson said.

"Also when and how we would be able to reopen the section of the river or pool that's being closed."

But he said the consultations needed for those decisions take some time and fluctuations in the weather and river conditions need to be considered. 

"We need to make sure we don't have to close it back in a few days, because of the process we have to go through," Ferguson said.

The current pool closures are scheduled to last until the end of the season.

The DFO official said if it's determined the pools are healthy, officials could begin the process to reopen them earlier.